Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

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Meme
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Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Meme » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:58 pm

We expect to stop working within the next 9 months and will be selling our home. Looking to see how you made your decision to relocate to a different state.

We live outside of NYC and don't want to continue paying our high property taxes ($18K /year). We have a son in Boston and a daughter in Chicago. We enjoy Boston & Chicago but want to get away from severe winter weather.

We will start this summer to explore some areas, Richmond, Va, Charlottesville, VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and maybe Delaware. We want to be near a college town, we have enjoyed living near a college and take advantage of the various programs offered at a college. I don't see us going to Florida & Georgia - just too hot & humid.

We will rent for at least 6 months before we make a decision to buy - just in case it's not the right fit for us. I expect we will go into a 55+ community, to make it easier to meet people.

Please share how you made the decision to move. How has it worked out for you? Both positive and negative feedback.
Any areas we should put on our list to consider?

We have been weeding out the stuff in our 4 bedroom house and it will be a long process.

Thanks for your help and advice.

jebmke
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by jebmke » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:10 pm

We retired to Maryland and have both lived in Virginia. We also spend a good bit of time in Delaware. I grew up in Florida.

Unless you are living right on the water (Atlantic side), the heat and humidity in the destinations you listed are not materially different than in Florida. The summers are a bit longer in Florida but if you compared July/Aug you would not know the difference. It is actually hotter here on the Eastern Shore today than it is in Orlando. I'm not trying to talk you into Florida, just set your expectations for the mid-Atlantic.

Personally, I would take longer than 6 months on a rental to make sure you have made the right choice. It takes a while to figure things out.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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lthenderson
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:14 pm

Meme wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:58 pm
We live outside of NYC and don't want to continue paying our high property taxes ($18K /year). We have a son in Boston and a daughter in Chicago. We enjoy Boston & Chicago but want to get away from severe winter weather.
If I were you, I would pick someplace with an airport that has regular direct flights to both cities.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:14 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:10 pm
.... the heat and humidity in the destinations you listed are not materially different than in Florida.
I agree. The summer heat and humidity in DC and anywhere to the south is very oppressive, especially if you did not grow up in those areas. I did, and when I go home to visit I always try to avoid the summer months.

I know you want to avoid winter weather, but I would encourage you to consider Middlebury or Burlington VT, Hanover, Durham, or Portsmouth, NH, or Portsmouth, ME. These areas are well-equipped to deal with winter weather and the summers are fabulous. VT and ME have income and sales taxes, but NH has no income or sales tax. Portsmouth and Portland are not college towns, but you can put together a great lifestyle in either community. There are excellent retirement communities in several of these areas.

Boston is only a one or two hour drive from the ME and NH locations, although winter air travel to Chicago could be a challenge. There are excellent airports in Burlington, VT, Manchester, NH, and Portland, ME.

abner kravitz
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm

We based on our decision on having come to the area for many years on vacation - the thought being, if that is where you like to spend your precious vacation, why not live there when retired. The climate suited us, and taxes were reasonable. Overall, it's been a good choice for us. The downside is that being an ocean community, it gets really crowded for a couple of months a year. Now we reverse snowbird for part of the summer. Based on your criteria, it would be too hot and humid for you (southern SC).

3504PIR
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:14 pm

So far so good, although we are still not at our home full time and don't have a year under our belts as of yet.

We picked an area near Asheville, NC which combined the climate, location and price we were looking for. We have a 12 acre horse farm where we did a 100% rehab of the house on the property converting a 1300sf ranch into a 3400sf mountain home with a 3 car garage. A significant amount of work and a bit of a gamble, but it turned out great. I will fill a lot of my time working around the farm with a large garden, a small orchard and probably about an acre in hops. I'm not 100% sure about the hops yet as I'm just beginning my research. We currently lease out the barn and pastures to our neighbor with decent income from that.

I wanted to try something new in retirement and didn't like the idea of living in a traditional neighborhood. Working around the farm provides a lot of purpose for me, something I was a little worried about. We're in our mid 50s and this will be home for the next 20 years or so, after that - when we really start getting old - we'll see.

We started our search in 2010 in Charlottesville, VA and over the next 2 years worked our way South though the mountains getting a feel for various communities. We ended up in the Asheville area and are very happy. Home prices when we were buying were less than Charlottesville - the housing crash didn't really effect Charlottesville as much as I'd expected. The weather in the Asheville area is slightly better as well, low 80s in the summer and very little humidity and not much snow in the winter. For airports, we like the Asheville airport that has flights to ATL, Chicago and Charlotte and we are about 2 hours from Atlanta if we need to fly out of there. Charlotte is also a decent hub and is about 2 hours away as well if we want to fly out of there if there is a better deal.

We have lived in a wide range of locations including CA, GA, FL, KS, HI, VA, Germany and the United Kingdom. From that experience we had a pretty good idea what we were looking for, we just had to find it.

Good luck on your search, we had a great time doing ours and found some great places we will visit again.

2015
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by 2015 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:25 pm

My transition to the desert is on the verge of completion. I'm the only person I know who can drive through 115 degree desert heat with the windows down and love it. The scenery is breathtaking, like something from another planet.

marcopolo
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:21 pm

abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm
We based on our decision on having come to the area for many years on vacation - the thought being, if that is where you like to spend your precious vacation, why not live there when retired.
We did the same.

We had considered taking kids location into account in choosing a destination. But, in the end we reasoned that people are much more mobile in their careers these days, so who knows where they might be in the future. So, we chose the alternative to relocate to a place (Hawaii) where we had vacationed numerous times as a family, and is also close to other extended family.

Hopefully, the kids will be more inclined to come visit!
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

retire14
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by retire14 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:30 pm

We retired to Charlottesville, VA from NJ. We really love C'ville with UVA, mountains, wineries, breweries, golf and tennis! And people are so nice, friendly and courteous!

jebmke
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by jebmke » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:32 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:21 pm
abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm
We based on our decision on having come to the area for many years on vacation - the thought being, if that is where you like to spend your precious vacation, why not live there when retired.
We did the same.

We had considered taking kids location into account in choosing a destination. But, in the end we reasoned that people are much more mobile in their careers these days, so who knows where they might be in the future. So, we chose the alternative to relocate to a place (Hawaii) where we had vacationed numerous times as a family, and is also close to other extended family.

Hopefully, the kids will be more inclined to come visit!
We did too. But vacations are not the same as living long term in a location. In retrospect, we didn't do enough due diligence and as a result we will eventually leave our current retirement location (we have been here 10 years).
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

marcopolo
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:42 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:32 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:21 pm
abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm
We based on our decision on having come to the area for many years on vacation - the thought being, if that is where you like to spend your precious vacation, why not live there when retired.
We did the same.

We had considered taking kids location into account in choosing a destination. But, in the end we reasoned that people are much more mobile in their careers these days, so who knows where they might be in the future. So, we chose the alternative to relocate to a place (Hawaii) where we had vacationed numerous times as a family, and is also close to other extended family.

Hopefully, the kids will be more inclined to come visit!
We did too. But vacations are not the same as living long term in a location. In retrospect, we didn't do enough due diligence and as a result we will eventually leave our current retirement location (we have been here 10 years).
That is definitely a bit of a concern.

To try to mitigate this a bit, we have spent extended time there several times. We try to largely live like locals, and not tourists, when we are there. We typically stay with family that live there full time, and try to live as they do.

But, you are absolutely right that you really don't know until you have actually lived there for a while.
Time will tell, and the decision is not irreversible (might be an expensive lesson). We will consider it an adventure, and move on to the next phase of life if the decision does not work out like we hope.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Meme
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Meme » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:13 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:32 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:21 pm
abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm
We based on our decision on having come to the area for many years on vacation - the thought being, if that is where you like to spend your precious vacation, why not live there when retired.
We did the same.

We had considered taking kids location into account in choosing a destination. But, in the end we reasoned that people are much more mobile in their careers these days, so who knows where they might be in the future. So, we chose the alternative to relocate to a place (Hawaii) where we had vacationed numerous times as a family, and is also close to other extended family.

Hopefully, the kids will be more inclined to come visit!
We did too. But vacations are not the same as living long term in a location. In retrospect, we didn't do enough due diligence and as a result we will eventually leave our current retirement location (we have been here 10 years).

Thanks for your very thoughtful replies. Jebmke you mentioned not doing enough due diligence. What will cause you to move & where do you think you will go next?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:28 pm

Retired.
UHCOL (Hawaii) to LCOL (Northern Arizona).
Financially. Outstanding move. :D
Wide open spaces. No crowds. No cities. No traffic. National Forests.
But. . . .
White sand beaches, cool ocean breezes, ocean waves lapping the shore? . . . . None in sight. :(
Onward.
j
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gmc4h232
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by gmc4h232 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:55 pm

Come on down to RVA this week and you can experience first hand the oppressiveness of the current heat and humidity. It is about as bad as it gets at the moment. I do love it here but I can’t stand this current weather. The mosquitoes have been quite bad at my house this year as well due to recent heavy rains. 8 months out of the year the weather is tolerable IMHO.

Cville isn’t much better climate wise. Plus I’m the past 10yrs it’s grown exponentially and not very intelligently, so traffic sucks quite badly especially the 29 corridor

I would recommend the Shenandoah Valley for slightly better summer climate conditions. Much friendlier folks there too. Staunton is worth checking out.

reisner
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by reisner » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:33 pm

I noticed that Asheville is one of the few places in the country where you can find a beautiful,smaller home--1000-1500 sq ft, with quality materials, workmanship, and some individuality.
Last edited by reisner on Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

radiowave
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by radiowave » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:47 pm

Meme, welcome to the forum.

I grew up on LI (Suffolk Co) and spent much of my early work career and grad school in NC. I am a UNC-Chapel Hill grad and RDU is a really great place to live. Yes it's hot and stick in the summer but not too different from the NYC metro area. Four seasons, it does have some snow occasionally in the winter but melts off quickly. I really like you can get to the NC beaches in a little over 2 hours from the triangle and about the same time to the mountains. We are thinking of retiring back to Chapel Hill in a couple years when I retire. Lots of activity due to 3 colleges in the area, NC State and I forget the other one up in Durham (that's an inside Tar Heel joke, obviously Duke is an excellent school). Excellent heath care with the two university hospitals and extended network of clinics in the area.

The only real downside is the bugs, plenty of them. Property taxes will be much lower then NY, e.g. a typical low 2000 sqft two story home in the high 3K to low 5K range. RDU airport will get you pretty much where you need to go, not sure if there are direct flights to BOS or ORD.

Good luck!
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marielake
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marielake » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:16 pm

I moved from the Boston area to Wilmington, NC.

Prior to retiring, had looked mostly in the southwest. Was looking for less expensive real estate, someplace where I could sell my home, use the equity to buy another home and have no mortgage. After visiting NC, It seemed like the right place. Prices were great and weather seemed agreeable. There's a university, airport, and hospital--everything on my list. But, its too hot. The NC mountains may have been a better choice for me.

CurlyDave
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by CurlyDave » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:55 am

About 2 years out form retirement DW and I bought a motorhome and set out looking for places to retire to. We towed a car behind us. We would spend several days in each of many locations discussing what we liked and didn't like about the area. We could go back to any location and stay as longs as we wanted. We took the dogs with us.

Ended up buying 40 acres in Southern Oregon and building a home. When the home was finished, we sold the motorhome.

If I had it to do over, the only thing I would do differently is to buy a used motorhome instead of new. Might have saved $10k on the transaction that way.

We are very happy with our choice. The only negative is that our location has slow internet.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Nestegg_User » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:34 am

we had been to ALL fifty states, had eliminated most, then started examining the rest ( ambiance/environment, taxes, healthcare, etc). went on trips to closely examine few - - sometimes the first trip will definitely eliminate it, if you spend the time like you actually might live there- - (out east the only real contender was Asheville, but the relative expense...housing costs, state/real estate/sales taxes... kicked it out for us).
out west there are more options, depending on your desire for space, weather, costs, activities, etc.

We ended up farther north than CurlyDave .... central Oregon, north of Bend (couldn’t find the views we wanted for any decent price in Bend proper ...it’s expensive in town). We visited many times before we finally bought...the best houses go fast; prices have risen dramatically within the last two years (~30+%), so don’t expect the bargains of before, that’s IF you can find a house in the first place (rental availability is below 1%!!)

It’s been about what we expected, although a lot more people have been coming in {they must not have read the bumper sticker “Bend Sucks...Don’t Move Here” } ; there’s a lot to do in all seasons and it has a lot of sunshine 8-) , unlike Portland and Eugene. BUT, it ISN’T a large city... the whole area probably has only about 200k people, except when the tourists come...and they come in droves.

(We also considered Reno/Carson City... similar to area, with access to Lake Tahoe, but it didn’t have the health care facilities then (they’ve since added, and with Tesla there, more options seem to be available) and others consider Boise area...it’s a larger metro area than either, with reasonable costs.)

jebmke
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:57 am

Meme wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:13 pm
Jebmke you mentioned not doing enough due diligence. What will cause you to move & where do you think you will go next?
Sure.
I think there are at least three major issues that will finally push us to pick up and move.

One, we live in a small town environment. While there is, on the surface, a good supply of medical services, the quality is lacking. After a while we realized that many people were making the 1-2 hour drive to the closest urban area (teaching and other large hospitals) for other than basic care. This is a general issue for "rural America" and isn't going to get better. One hospital in the area has closed and another is on the edge of a closing decision.

Two, around here, driving is pretty much the only way to get around. We have noticed that as seniors get older in this area they either move to retirement centers or they increasingly become house bound (some keep driving anyway and end up as statistics in the local paper). We don't want to be dependent on our driving forever.

Three, we spent most of our lives living in fairly urban environments in the US and outside the US. We underestimated how much we would miss certain aspects of the urban lifestyle. This is purely a personal choice. There are always trade-offs in this regard.

We will probably relocated back to an urban environment -- most likely to the Maryland side of DC (we live in Maryland now but in a more rural area).
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

J295
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by J295 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:04 am

Depending upon your family situation, I will reinforce giving consideration to easy access to airport with direct flights to your family. Our children and grandchildren have lived in major metropolitan areas in the United States and in Europe and Asia. Ease of transportation to visit them, and for them to visit us is important as we stay connected.

SQRT
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SQRT » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:19 am

Shortly after we retired 12 years ago, we moved from Toronto to Canmore Alberta. Fabulous little town (16,000 people) in the Canadian Rockies near Banff. World class hiking, biking, skiing. Very active, young population. No sales tax and lowest income tax of any province at the time. Property taxes reasonable. Tax savings the first few years just about paid for the house which was quite expensive. Winters are long, cold, and dark though so got a place in Arizona as well. No regrets.

moehoward
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by moehoward » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:21 am

We were all set to retire in Santa Rosa, CA but our children moved to NC and TN. To entice us they each put an apartment in their respective homes for us. Well, we now spend our time between the two cities and travel the rest of the time. So far it's working out fine. Not owning anything except a small beater car makes life easy.

retired recently
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by retired recently » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:04 am

I was born and live in NC but lived overseas for quite some time. I never really noticed the humidity until I returned. It is not bad for me but many people really struggle with it so I would suggest spending a few summer weeks in any location before you move. Also, property taxes are low but we often do not have sidewalks and presumably other amenities you have in higher tax paying areas. If you come to the South, please realize that you may give up sidewalks, etc and do not complain about it all the time like many that move here often spend time doing...

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:17 am

I have retired to Arlington, Virginia. I wanted to live in a large metropolitan area with many activities easily reachable by walking and public transportation. I can walk to the Arlington campus of George Mason University, to Georgetown University, and to George Washington University; if the weather is not good, I can easily reach these universities by Metro, buses, or shuttles. D.C. metro area is served by three airports, all of which are reachable by public transport.

I have an old car, and I am a good driver, but I prefer to walk and use public transport when I can, because it's more relaxing, more active, more entertaining, and more dependable.

Washington and Arlington offer much more than university campuses. We have not just free Smithsonian museums but also Smithsonian Residents lectures and seminars. We have over a hundred of embassies many of which offer interesting programs. We have think tanks with free lectures, panels, and seminars on a variety of topics in economics, politics, defense, and culture. Federal agencies also offer some interesting free programs.

Living in the D.C. area as a retiree is different from living here as an employee. Working people don't have time to enjoy most of the cultural and intellectual treasures of Washington. People with families and limited budgets buy less expensive houses far away from work and have brutal commutes. But as a retiree with a Bogleheads-level of assets you can live in an apartment in the heart of action and participate in that action.

Victoria
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am

I retired to Washington DC because that's where I've lived my entire life, and no other location has been calling my name. I'm a city guy at heart, so I'm not sure I would be happy in a suburban or rural setting (which is where most retirement communities are located).

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.

Like others who have commented, I would like to be near my children and grandchildren, but I'm not convinced that they've truly settled and put down deep roots in their current locations. I don't want to move to be near them only to have them move across country a few years later.

I have thought about moving to Spain, which is where I vacation, but family, Medicare, and issues related to investing from abroad keep me in the US.

njdealguy
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by njdealguy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:56 am

How about considering the Lehigh valley area of Pennsylvania (Easton/Bethlehem), even though the weather would be similar to where currently be. It would keep you within a hour and a half drive to NYC should you desire visiting any friends or other contacts there (or convenient bus service) as well as a slightly shorter distance to Philadelphia, while cost of living and home prices are about on par with 99% of the rest of the country. It also has a local airport with direct flight to Chicago while Boston can be driven to in about 4 hours or otherwise a connecting flight via Philadelphia. Also there is Lehigh University in the area.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:59 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.
I find this comment typical. I've lived in a half dozen areas East of the Mississippi, notably Buffalo, Virginia and Memphis. In every location, locals think that "summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy." There are even those who, with an average snowfall of maybe 1", think that the winter in Memphis is too snowy.

BTW in every area the locals also have said that the weather changes "more rapidly here", and "we have the worst traffic". Really?

jebmke
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:06 am

(Lake Wobegon) ** -1
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

coalcracker
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by coalcracker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:14 am

I'm not retired, but if you are looking for moderate, beautiful weather (for a price :twisted: ) consider the central coast of CA. I've visited friends in the San Luis Obispo area in all four seasons and I'll be damned if the weather wasn't the same each time.

Gretchen
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Gretchen » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:11 am

We had that conversation many times and always ended up with, "Why leave? We're already here!" We live in the foothills north of LA, almost always above the smog layer. We bought our house in 1985, pre-Proposition 13, so our property taxes are only double what we paid in our first year -- very affordable. We can spend a day at home, in the mountains, in the desert, at the beach, or in one of the largest cities in the US. We are within an hour of LAX and Burbank Airport. There are good hospitals within five miles, and the fire department and sheriff are only a mile away.

But the key is that we bought here more than 30 years ago, so we aren't hit with the high cost of housing.

heyyou
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by heyyou » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:09 pm

We sold the multi-story house in town, and moved to a small neighborhood a few miles from town, after we had a retirement sized house built there. Dear wife still has the same social circle, but it's now too far for me to enjoy walking to and from the grocery store.

Somewhere in the Southeast, re-locators are called "half-backs" since they have moved from Boston-New York areas to Florida, then mid-way back.

2015
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Post by 2015 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:04 pm

jebmke wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:57 am
Meme wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:13 pm
Jebmke you mentioned not doing enough due diligence. What will cause you to move & where do you think you will go next?
Sure.
I think there are at least three major issues that will finally push us to pick up and move.

One, we live in a small town environment. While there is, on the surface, a good supply of medical services, the quality is lacking. After a while we realized that many people were making the 1-2 hour drive to the closest urban area (teaching and other large hospitals) for other than basic care. This is a general issue for "rural America" and isn't going to get better. One hospital in the area has closed and another is on the edge of a closing decision.

Two, around here, driving is pretty much the only way to get around. We have noticed that as seniors get older in this area they either move to retirement centers or they increasingly become house bound (some keep driving anyway and end up as statistics in the local paper). We don't want to be dependent on our driving forever.

Three, we spent most of our lives living in fairly urban environments in the US and outside the US. We underestimated how much we would miss certain aspects of the urban lifestyle. This is purely a personal choice. There are always trade-offs in this regard.

We will probably relocated back to an urban environment -- most likely to the Maryland side of DC (we live in Maryland now but in a more rural area).
I would agree with the importance of conducting due diligence. Fortunately, I've engaged in so much overthinking on this issue that I've probably been kicked out of the diligence club Even so, I intend to rent for a while as I don't intend to move again.

As part of my extended diligence, an important theme I've kept coming across is that it's important to remember that no location is "perfect." There will be some trade-offs to be made and the key is to make some trade-offs that are better than others.

NoMad18
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by NoMad18 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:33 pm

Meme wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:58 pm
We expect to stop working within the next 9 months and will be selling our home. Looking to see how you made your decision to relocate to a different state.

We live outside of NYC and don't want to continue paying our high property taxes ($18K /year). We have a son in Boston and a daughter in Chicago. We enjoy Boston & Chicago but want to get away from severe winter weather.

We will start this summer to explore some areas, Richmond, Va, Charlottesville, VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and maybe Delaware. We want to be near a college town, we have enjoyed living near a college and take advantage of the various programs offered at a college. I don't see us going to Florida & Georgia - just too hot & humid.

We will rent for at least 6 months before we make a decision to buy - just in case it's not the right fit for us. I expect we will go into a 55+ community, to make it easier to meet people.

Please share how you made the decision to move. How has it worked out for you? Both positive and negative feedback.
Any areas we should put on our list to consider?

We have been weeding out the stuff in our 4 bedroom house and it will be a long process.

Thanks for your help and advice.
Good thinking. Will you store your belongings while renting, or move it with you?

Delaware has much to offer, but could be heavy on taxes so be sure to check that. North Carolina has a decent tax rate, and you’re able to avoid the extreme weather most winters.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by renue74 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:35 pm

I grew up in NC and now live in SC. My folks live in St. Augustine, FL and I visit them many times per year.

I went to school in Chapel Hill, NC....so I have a good "barometer" of your Durham/Raleigh area.

Weather
The summer heat in RDU is similar or identical to Northern Florida. I find it amazing that in the Northeast, there can be 70º temps in the summer. That's just not the case for the Southeast...and the humidity can be oppressive.

I typically "condition" myself to the heat and do a lot of physical work outside. But even in mid-July through the end of August, the heat is killer here. I painted trim in a flip house this past weekend and within 30 minutes, all my clothes were soaked through with sweat.

Find Your "Tribe"
No matter where you go, you have to be proactive in finding your tribe....friends, favorite vendors, churches, etc. This can be difficult, especially for people who have not moved around a lot or are very family centered.

In RDU, there is a large amount of northerner exposure. The schools, the tech industry, bring in a lot of outsiders. The quality of life is wonderful because of the colleges. Live performances, sporting events, parks, hiking, even auditing college courses for free at some of the best universities in the country....there's plenty to do.

So...the question is why put down roots? Why not just rent your way through several areas? Why must one relocate after retirement? You're moving away from the winters....OK....why move from cold winters to oppressive summers?

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SurfCityBill » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:51 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:14 am
I'm not retired, but if you are looking for moderate, beautiful weather (for a price :twisted: ) consider the central coast of CA. I've visited friends in the San Luis Obispo area in all four seasons and I'll be damned if the weather wasn't the same each time.
We don't have seasons in California. We have elongated and shortened periods of night and day.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:10 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:59 am
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.
I find this comment typical. I've lived in a half dozen areas East of the Mississippi, notably Buffalo, Virginia and Memphis. In every location, locals think that "summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy." There are even those who, with an average snowfall of maybe 1", think that the winter in Memphis is too snowy.

BTW in every area the locals also have said that the weather changes "more rapidly here", and "we have the worst traffic". Really?
So what's your point?

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:22 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:10 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:59 am
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.
I find this comment typical. I've lived in a half dozen areas East of the Mississippi, notably Buffalo, Virginia and Memphis. In every location, locals think that "summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy." There are even those who, with an average snowfall of maybe 1", think that the winter in Memphis is too snowy.

BTW in every area the locals also have said that the weather changes "more rapidly here", and "we have the worst traffic". Really?
So what's your point?
neilpilot will probably provide his point, but here is my point about the D.C. Metro weather:

Winters here are nice. There are usually a couple of days with too much snow, but otherwise, nothing in comparison with Illinois where I used to live. Our apartment management is good about clearing the parking lot. I remove snow from my car at my convenience. As I don't depend on my car, I can live without it for several weeks waiting for the snow to melt.

Summers here are hot and humid. But it's not a big deal. Yesterday, I had my walk between 7:30 and 8:30 am. Today, I missed this window and will go out when the heat subsides in the evening. I usually spend about a month in summer traveling and thus my exposure to the worst heat is limited. But if I were stuck in D.C. for the entire summer, I'd start catching up on the Smithsonian collections.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:47 pm

Let me offer some comparisons of work living and retirement living.

- When you are working you have limited time to enjoy your surroundings, and the relative value of a good location is lower.
- When you are retired you have your full days to enjoy your surroundings, and the relative value of a good location is higher.

- When you are working you, typically, raise the family and need to live in a larger house in a location with good schools.
- When you are retired you don't raise the family and can live in an apartment without concern about schools.

- When you are working, you don't know future turns of the market and don't know when you will accumulate sufficient funds to retire. You chose where to live according to the level of your uncertainty, and you try to err on the safe side.
- When you make a decision to retire, you know how much money you have available. You can put a large amount into the safest assets to assure that you will not run out of money. Thus, you can eliminate a lot of uncertainty. And you may find that you have enough money to live in a high cost of living area. You may pay a lot of taxes, but you will also get benefits of these taxes in the form of convenient public transportation, high walking scores, beautiful parks, and free or low-cost cultural events.

The point of these comparisons is that there are some fundamental differences in the work living and retirement living. There is no need to carry the work attitudes towards location into retirement. There is no need to seek a low cost of living area or a large house. There is the need to live in a place where you are socially, physically and intellectually stimulated.

Victoria
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WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:48 pm

Our decision is not to move. We like it where we are.

PS I would add that I find it odd that people who ask this question seem to be focused on the climate when there are many other considerations that seem to me to be more important. What is especially true about climate is that nowhere actually has a perfect climate.
Last edited by dbr on Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dknightd
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by dknightd » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:54 pm

We are trying to figure this out as well. So far only she has retired. But I'm not far away. For years and years we thought we'd like to move back to where we met. Colorado front range. We have a lot of family and friends there. But now we are not so sure. We can't sell our house and buy similar there. We also like the NW. And other places. Sometimes we think about chasing kids and grandkids around, but that seems kind of futile - they live all over the place, and could move around at any time. I think we'll likely retire in place (Albany NY area), and think long and hard about actually moving away. Like others, I think visiting might be the way to go.
Who knows. . .

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Hayden
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Hayden » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:56 pm

We wanted to try an urban lifestyle, so we rented an apartment downtown. I love the fact that I never drive anywhere. We have great theaters, restaurants, and gym very close to the apartment.

I think the biggest challenge is building a social network in the new city. A neighbor told me that it takes 5 years to make friends in a new town. I hope it doesn't really take that long.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:59 pm

dbr wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:48 pm
Our decision is not to move. We like it where we are.

PS I would add that I find it odd that people who ask this question seem to be focused on the climate when there are many other considerations that seem to me to be more important. What is especially true about climate is that nowhere actually has a perfect climate.
Not sure why you find it odd. Everyone is different and has different goals/priorities. That's what makes the world and interesting place.

For us, climate was one the top criteria in choosing a retirement destination. We love outdoor activities like hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, running, etc. We are taking a calculated financial risk to retire early so we can do those things, hopefully for many years, while we still enjoy good health.

While theoretically many of those activities can be done in most weather conditions, I am honest enough with myself to have recognized over the years that i enjoy them much more in mild weather conditions. So, we chose a place where we can get that year round. It does not hurt that beautiful beaches happen to be right there as well.

To be honest, if we were to stay in the same place, living a similar lifestyle, I probably would have kept on working for a while.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:05 pm

When the weather is nice I am content doing almost anything.

When the weather is cold/snowy/icy/below zero/slippery I want it to be nice weather.

Climate will be a very important driver in our decision for a full or part-time retirement destination.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SouthernCPA » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm

The concept of up and moving simply due to retirement is an odd one for me to grasp. I try to live where I want to live now, while I am working, have roots in the community, family, friends and we have a great network of people here. Starting over from scratch at retirement sounds exhausting.

Obviously some careers have certain limitations and demands geographically, but I've always thought it made more sense to build a career around where I will spend the majority of my working life, rather than have a job dictate where I live. I wonder if this is a generational thing where career dictates location rather than the other way around? I remember my father would move when new job opportunities came up and we'd have to start over as a family with friends, schools, etc. That may also contribute to why I'm sort of the opposite in that area.

I could probably make more money living in a large city, but I like my coastal town way of life and career/job won't be enough pull for me to uproot from the community and transplant somewhere else.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:37 pm

SouthernCPA wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm
The concept of up and moving simply due to retirement is an odd one for me to grasp. I try to live where I want to live now, while I am working, have roots in the community, family, friends and we have a great network of people here. Starting over from scratch at retirement sounds exhausting.

Obviously some careers have certain limitations and demands geographically, but I've always thought it made more sense to build a career around where I will spend the majority of my working life, rather than have a job dictate where I live. I wonder if this is a generational thing where career dictates location rather than the other way around? I remember my father would move when new job opportunities came up and we'd have to start over as a family with friends, schools, etc. That may also contribute to why I'm sort of the opposite in that area.

I could probably make more money living in a large city, but I like my coastal town way of life and career/job won't be enough pull for me to uproot from the community and transplant somewhere else.
Same here. I pursued employment where I wanted to live and declined better financial opportunities elsewhere. I see no reason to move simply because I am no longer tied to a job.

But to each their own. And good luck to everyone in finding a spot that suits them. It is an interesting thread to someone on the outside looking in.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:49 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:37 pm
SouthernCPA wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm
The concept of up and moving simply due to retirement is an odd one for me to grasp. I try to live where I want to live now, while I am working, have roots in the community, family, friends and we have a great network of people here. Starting over from scratch at retirement sounds exhausting.

Obviously some careers have certain limitations and demands geographically, but I've always thought it made more sense to build a career around where I will spend the majority of my working life, rather than have a job dictate where I live. I wonder if this is a generational thing where career dictates location rather than the other way around? I remember my father would move when new job opportunities came up and we'd have to start over as a family with friends, schools, etc. That may also contribute to why I'm sort of the opposite in that area.

I could probably make more money living in a large city, but I like my coastal town way of life and career/job won't be enough pull for me to uproot from the community and transplant somewhere else.
Same here. I pursued employment where I wanted to live and declined better financial opportunities elsewhere. I see no reason to move simply because I am no longer tied to a job.

But to each their own. And good luck to everyone in finding a spot that suits them. It is an interesting thread to someone on the outside looking in.
Definitely agree about each person having their own preferences. Not sure what is hard to grasp about that.

One reason why some people might consider moving:
People can have different priorities at different stages of life. What was a ideal place to live when I was in my twenties, was very different than the ideal place when i was raising a family, and that is different than the ideal place where i want to spend the early retirement years, I suspect when i reach a much older age in retirement, that may change again. To some people, the change/starting over is exciting, rather than exhausting.

I don't find it odd at all that others might make different choices.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SQRT » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:30 am

marcopolo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:49 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:37 pm
SouthernCPA wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm
The concept of up and moving simply due to retirement is an odd one for me to grasp. I try to live where I want to live now, while I am working, have roots in the community, family, friends and we have a great network of people here. Starting over from scratch at retirement sounds exhausting.

Obviously some careers have certain limitations and demands geographically, but I've always thought it made more sense to build a career around where I will spend the majority of my working life, rather than have a job dictate where I live. I wonder if this is a generational thing where career dictates location rather than the other way around? I remember my father would move when new job opportunities came up and we'd have to start over as a family with friends, schools, etc. That may also contribute to why I'm sort of the opposite in that area.

I could probably make more money living in a large city, but I like my coastal town way of life and career/job won't be enough pull for me to uproot from the community and transplant somewhere else.
Same here. I pursued employment where I wanted to live and declined better financial opportunities elsewhere. I see no reason to move simply because I am no longer tied to a job.

But to each their own. And good luck to everyone in finding a spot that suits them. It is an interesting thread to someone on the outside looking in.
Definitely agree about each person having their own preferences. Not sure what is hard to grasp about that.

One reason why some people might consider moving:
People can have different priorities at different stages of life. What was a ideal place to live when I was in my twenties, was very different than the ideal place when i was raising a family, and that is different than the ideal place where i want to spend the early retirement years, I suspect when i reach a much older age in retirement, that may change again. To some people, the change/starting over is exciting, rather than exhausting.

I don't find it odd at all that others might make different choices.
I can see both sides, in our case we were living right in downtown Toronto because of my extremely well paying job. Once we retired (I was 56) we felt a sense of liberation. That is, what do we want to do for the rest of our lives? Travel more? Maybe live in exotic places like Paris or Rome for 6 months at a time? Learn new things? Take up new hobbies? Meet new people? I guess we are pretty adventurous so we decided to “go for it”. We kept our Toronto place for occasional use when visiting family. To each their own.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:26 am

SouthernCPA wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm
The concept of up and moving simply due to retirement is an odd one for me to grasp. I try to live where I want to live now, while I am working, have roots in the community, family, friends and we have a great network of people here. Starting over from scratch at retirement sounds exhausting.

Obviously some careers have certain limitations and demands geographically, but I've always thought it made more sense to build a career around where I will spend the majority of my working life, rather than have a job dictate where I live. I wonder if this is a generational thing where career dictates location rather than the other way around? I remember my father would move when new job opportunities came up and we'd have to start over as a family with friends, schools, etc. That may also contribute to why I'm sort of the opposite in that area.

I could probably make more money living in a large city, but I like my coastal town way of life and career/job won't be enough pull for me to uproot from the community and transplant somewhere else.
some of us had corporate relo’s that sent us to locations that we didn’t fully select (we eliminated some options), as most of us have to pay the bills for some time (while saving) to get to retire. Initially, the jobs in my field that were local were taken by transplants from the east; I had no choice but to leave to enter the field, unless I wanted to be relegated to the lower levels with little advancement.
Once we started the process to retire, we knew we weren’t required to stay there.... and conditions worsened to the point that it wasn’t preferable (played out on the national news, not just the local news...).

the result is that many options were then available: we’d been to all fifty states, eliminated many areas due to climate (and social climate, as well)...then the economics started (could we afford what we wanted, what type of conditions did we want, does it have the level of care and services, including access to airports for travel, etc) We ended up on the west coast, over 2000 miles away from where we stopped w@rking, but also not where either of us grew up at... but the area suited us.

As Victoria has noted above, the things you might need in retirement are different: I don’t worry about the 1 1/2 hours (plus) total I had commuting every day, as that no longer exists, but can be more concerned about the fifteen minutes to the hospital or the five minutes it takes for the EMT from the nearby fire station, assuming we’re here at the house. I can be in wilderness area in minutes, fishing or hiking or biking or ....I can stay on the deck looking at the mountains and canyons sipping a nice beverage watching the wildlife.

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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by thx1138 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:25 am

We will definitely “try before we buy” as we recently had an eye opening experience in that regard.

We grew up, schooled, worked a bit and got married on the left coast. Then careers took us to the right coast where we never expected to be and were pretty sure we didn’t want to be. While out here in the mid-Atlantic we had a kid. We kept our eye open for opportunities back on the left coast the whole time because that was where we knew we wanted to get back to.

After a bit less than decade living out here we had the opportunity to spend a year back in the left coast right where we went to college. We knew that area well and were thrilled. We were also worried once we got there we’d be so sad after the year was over that we’d have to return back to the right coast.

Well quite the opposite occurred. Turns out living somewhere as a single or a couple is vastly different from living there with a child. We were quite happy when the year was up and we could return “home” to the mid-Atlantic which after our year sabbatical we now finally really considered “home”.

These days we are looking much more critically at what we *think* we want for retirement and are planning with a better understanding that our predictions of what we will value in a different life stage might not be perfectly accurate.

Great thread, thanks to all who have posted!

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